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Dr. Frank attended Radcliffe College where, with mentorship from Dr. Renee C. Fox and the late Dr. Mary C. Howell, she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1970. Following college graduation, she worked as a social work assistant in the Lead Poisoning clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital and was active working with community groups in developing the Massachusetts Lead Paint Law. During this time, she discovered that she wanted to serve young children by becoming a pediatrician and completed what would now be called a Post-Bac program. In 1976, she graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in Seattle, Washington. Strongly interested in child development, she served as a fellow at Children’s Hospital in Boston under Dr. T. Berry Brazelton. She began working at Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center) in 1981. In 1984 she found the Failure to Thrive Program at Boston City Hospital, now called the Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center. In the 1980s, Dr. Frank and her staff also started a small food and clothing pantry in their offices to serve Grow Clinic patients, after finding that the families did not have financial resources to provide the high quality diet necessary for children’s recovery of growth and health. It was the first hospital-based food pantry in the country, and thanks to Boston Medical Center donors, is now open to all Boston Medical Center patients. The food pantry provides 7,000 patients and family members with nutritious, healthy food each month. Pantry staff members also teach low-income families how to cook healthy meals, empowering parents to help their children grow into healthy adults.
In 1998, she founded Children’s Health Watch (formerly Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program, C-SNAP). With colleagues across the country, she is one of the principal investigators of this ongoing effort to produce non-partisan, original and policy-relevant research on the health of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, whose needs are often not promptly identified in government research programs. Children’s HealthWatch works to improve young children’s nutrition, health, and development by informing policies that could address and alleviate their families’ economic hardships. She has also received NIH funding to evaluate the long term outcomes of children with and without intrauterine exposure to cocaine and other substances.
Dr. Frank has written numerous scientific articles and papers. Her work has focused on breastfeeding promotion, women and children affected by substance use, nutrition among homeless pregnant women and children, Failure to Thrive, food insecurity, and the “heat or eat” phenomenon, the dilemma that many low-income families face in the winter when they have to make the critical choice between heating their homes and feeding their children. She is especially proud of successfully mentoring many pre-professional and professional colleagues.
Cited as a respected authority in her fields, Dr. Frank has frequently given testimony to state and federal legislative committees on the growing problem of hunger and associated hardships in the United States and its effects on our youngest children. Dr. Frank was the sole physician appointed to the 10 member National Commission on
Hunger in 2014. She was also recruited to serve on the Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Food Insecurity and Health Care Costs.
In 2011 she became the inaugural incumbent of a newly established Pediatric Professorship in Child Health and Well Being at Boston University School of Medicine
In 2010 Dr. Frank received the Massachusetts Health Council Outstanding Leadership Award and the Physician Advocacy Merit Award from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University. She received the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps’ Embracing the Legacy Award on June 3, 2014, 2014, the American Medical Association’s Dr. Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award on June 6, 2014, and the Congressional Hunger Center’s Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Award on June 24, 2014. She received two awards in 2015 one national --- Dale Richmond/Justin Coleman Award, American Academy of Pediatrics and the other regional -- Changing the Equation Award, Eos Foundation. In 2016 the Grow clinic was the recipient of the Nick Littlefield Award for Excellence in Community Health.
Dr. Frank is married to Rabbi Neil Kominsky, with whom she has a blended family, including Rabbi David Kominsky, who is married to Eva Schweber; Dr. Daniel and Sara Kominsky and their two children, Cecelia Grace and Solana; as well as Jonathan Frank Kominsky, who is a PhD candidate in developmental psychology at Yale University.
Dr. Frank was recently informed by a 4 year old in the clinic that she was “a grandma doctor,” which encapsulates her current role as a clinician, researcher, mentor and advocate.
Dr. Andrew Beck, MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Divisions of General and Community Pediatrics and Hospital Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Dr. Beck completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology at Yale University. He then completed his medical training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with a concentration in Underserved Medicine. He completed a pediatrics residency and general academic pediatrics fellowship at CCHMC. During his fellowship training, Dr. Beck also completed a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Harvard University School of Public Health. He subsequently joined the CCHMC faculty, working clinically as a primary care and hospitalist pediatrician.
Dr. Beck's research aims to improve child health outcomes by identifying and mitigating key social determinants of health. Specifically, he pursues quantitative and quality improvement studies that focus on population-level health disparities and academic-community collaborations. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is currently the principal investigator on an NIH K23 mentored career development award through NIAID that focuses on identifying neighborhood- or area-level measures that are relevant to the care of children with asthma. He has also formed partnerships with the Cincinnati Health Department to link asthma patients with environmental risks to code enforcement visits and with a large local foodbank to provide hungry infants with formula. He is also works on the management team of the local Medical-Legal Partnership.
Dr. Beck’s clinical and academic interests are in alignment with CCHMC initiates focused on population health. Dr. Beck plays a substantial role in these efforts, including leading a project focused on reducing disparities in all-cause inpatient bed-day rates.
Dr Patricia Flanagan is a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine. She is professor and senior vice-chair of Pediatrics at The W. Alpert Medical School at Brown University and Associate Pediatrician-in-Chief of Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Her research, clinical work and teaching have focused on the unique needs of pregnant and parenting youth and their children and on the role of social determinants in child health. For the past 25 years, Pat has directed The Teens with Tots Clinic at Hasbro Hospital, a multidisciplinary primary care program for teens and their children. She completed a Soros Physician Advocacy Fellowship, working with RI KidsCount, a children’s policy and advocacy organization. Pat is a past president of the RI chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and vice-chair of the Executive Committee of The AAP Council on Community Pediatrics. Dr Flanagan is a co-director of RI PCMH-Kids, a new state-wide multi-payer multi-provider initiative for payment reform and primary medical home practice transformation.
She leads Hasbro Primary Care, a 10,000 child practice that serves a diverse, predominantly poor community and has intentionally transformed its services and its culture to address the social determinants of health as a fundamental part of child and family health.
Social worker turned pediatrician, Dr. Michael Hole is a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hole’s focus is domestic child poverty and social entrepreneurship. He holds an MD/MBA from Stanford, sits on the Academic Pediatric Association’s Task Force on Childhood Poverty, and cares for children at Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center, and Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Dr. Hole is co-author of a book published by Oxford University Press, several book chapters, over 15 peer-reviewed publications in journals like Pediatrics, and several lay media pieces featured by Huffington Post and The Atlantic on topics ranging from infant resuscitation in the developing world to welfare policy, pediatric primary care, and child poverty in America. He has given over 20 lectures to domestic and international groups on topics like economic empowerment, child trafficking in rural America, childhood food insecurity and obesity, and child health as it relates to US economic trends. He founded “Power of Children,” which started a school in Uganda, “BeHaiti,” which helps Partners in Health run an orphanage and fight child hunger in post-earthquake Haiti, and “StreetCred,” which helps poor, working families raising children file taxes, build assets, and access basic resources while waiting in American pediatric hospitals and clinics. In January 2016, Forbes Magazine named Dr. Hole one of America’s top 30 social entrepreneurs under age 30.
Anita Zuberi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Duquesne University. She earned a PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a BA in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University. Her research lies at the intersection of neighborhood, race, and health, focusing on the importance of living in a distressed neighborhood context in shaping adverse health outcomes. In particular, her work goes beyond poverty to examine characteristics of a neighborhood’s built and social environment (e.g. safety, collective efficacy, disorder, vacancy, property sales, and tax delinquency) to better understand the relationship between neighborhood distress and health, and highlights the role of social policy in reducing health disparities through programs aimed to improve distressed neighborhood contexts. She has presented on these topics in both national and local meetings, and her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Urban Affairs, Housing Policy Debate, and Social Science Research.
James Duffee, MD, MPH, FAAP is a general pediatrician who works with children with special healthcare needs in various capacities for both Nationwide (Columbus) Children’s and Dayton Children’s hospitals. He holds clinical associate professor appointments in pediatrics and psychiatry at Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. In his clinical activities, he cares for children who have experienced developmental trauma (including poverty, community violence, foster care or child maltreatment), children in immigrant families and children with medical complexity. He currently serves as policy chair of the Executive Committee of the Council on Community Pediatrics of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a lead author of Poverty and Child Health in the United States, a recently published guiding document for advocacy and quality improvement for the 64,000 member organization. Dr. Duffee is board certified in pediatrics, general psychiatry as well as child and adolescent psychiatry. As a community pediatrician for over 25 years, he was founding medical director of Rocking Horse Community Health Center in Springfield Ohio. While there, he was a founding board member and principle medical consultant for the Clark County Child Advocacy Center and was a member of the Child Fatality Review Committee. Dr. Duffee is Chair of the Medical Advisory Council for the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps of the Ohio Department of Health. He has served on the executive committee of the Ohio Chapter of the AAP and is past chair of the Ohio AAP Foundation. His work has been recognized by Dayton Children’s Medical Center with A Child’s Voice advocacy award and by the Academic Pediatric Association with the 2006 Healthcare Delivery Award. Dr. Duffee was designated the Outstanding Pediatrician of the Year in 2008 by the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 2014, the Ohio AAP recognized him with the William T. Cotton Pediatrician Advocate Award.
Esther K. Chung, MD, MPH, is Professor of Pediatrics at The Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) and Nemours in Philadelphia, PA. A 1991 graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, Dr. Chung also has held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at San Francisco. From 2007-09, she was one of four Physician Advocacy Fellows with the Center on Medicine as a Profession of Columbia University. Dr. Chung is Director of Advocacy and Community Partnerships at the Jefferson/Nemours Pediatric Residency Training Program, and she directs the JeffSTARS (Jefferson Service Training in Advocacy for Residents and Students) curriculum. She is Editor-in-Chief for the book, Visual Diagnosis and Treatment,now in its second edition. She was also Associate Editor for the first six editions of The 5-Minute Pediatric Consult. She has published over 85 peer-reviewed manuscripts, chapters and reviews. Working with multidisciplinary teams of researchers, including sociologists, nurses, epidemiologists and psychologists, Dr. Chung has focused her research on underserved populations, health disparities and maternal and child health. For over 25 years, she has cared for children and families living in poverty. She has had a number of leadership positions, and she currently serves on several national and local committees, including the Academic Pediatric Association Taskforce on Childhood Poverty, the Philadelphia Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Taskforce, and the Philadelphia Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Board.
Dr. Laura R. Wherry is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Her research examines the role of government policy on the health and economic well-being of individuals in the United States. Her primary focus is the changing role of the Medicaid program over time and its impact on access to health care and population health. Dr. Wherry received her Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago with a concentration in Labor Economics. Following graduate school, she completed postdoctoral training in population health as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan. Her research has been published in high-impact journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Annals of Internal Medicine, Health Services Research, and Medical Care.
Dr. Dreyer is a general and development-behavioral pediatrician who has spent his professional lifetime serving poor children and families. Professor of Pediatrics at NYU, he leads the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, is Director of Pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital, and also works as a hospitalist. He was Interim Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at NYU from 2004-2005 and from 2007-2008. He is now President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For over 30 years he led a primary care program at Bellevue, including co-located mental and oral health services and clinics in homeless shelters. His research is focused on interventions in primary care to improve early childhood outcomes, including early brain development and obesity. Dr. Dreyer has been AAP NY Chapter 3 President, and a member of the Committee on Pediatric Research and the Executive Committee of the Council on Communications and Media. He Co-Chaired the AAP Health Literacy Project Advisory Committee, including editing the AAP publication Plain Language Pediatrics. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Section on LGBT Health and Wellness. As President-Elect, he is taking a leadership role in the AAP’s Strategic Priority on Poverty and Child Health. Dr. Dreyer was president of the Academic Pediatric Association (APA), and founded and chairs the APA Task Force on Childhood Poverty and the APA Research Scholars Program. He also hosts a weekly radio show on the Sirius XM Doctor Radio Channel, On Call for Kids.
Arthur Fierman, MD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Division of General Pediatrics and the fellowship in Academic General Pediatrics at NYU. He is also Director of Pediatric Ambulatory Care and School-Based Health at Bellevue Hospital Center. Dr. Fierman’s career has focused on health and health care delivery issues related to children living in poverty, and on postgraduate medical education. He has served in leadership positions within the Academic Pediatric Association (APA), most recently as Co-Chair of the Health Care Delivery Subcommittee of the APA Task Force on Child Poverty. His collaborative research interests have included the health and health care issues of homeless children, immunization delivery, and testing pediatric primary care-based interventions designed to promote early child development, to address the impact of health literacy and to prevent childhood obesity. In postgraduate medical education, Dr. Fierman has directed HRSA-funded programs in primary care pediatric residency training and in post-doctoral primary care research, and he serves as associate director of the NYU School of Medicine CTSI-sponsored Masters in Clinical Investigation program.
Kira Bona, MD, MPH is an Instructor in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Boston, MA. She is a pediatric oncologist with a research agenda aimed at improving morbidity and mortality for pediatric cancer patients by systematically intervening on social determinants of health. Specifically, her research aims to understand the impact of poverty on pediatric cancer outcomes with a goal of developing poverty-targeted interventions to be tested in the clinical trial setting. Dr. Bona seeks to improve childhood cancer outcomes while concurrently taking advantage of pediatric cancer’s robust clinical trial model of care to test poverty-targeted interventions that can be extrapolated to other pediatric populations. Her work to date has demonstrated poverty-related outcome disparities in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer, even within the setting of standardized treatment protocols at tertiary care academic medical centers. She has additionally identified the presence of a remediable measure of poverty—household material hardship (including food, energy and housing insecurity)—in 30% of pediatric cancer families during chemotherapy treatment, suggesting a target for intervention design. Her current project aims to prospectively identify the relationship between household material hardship and childhood ALL outcomes within a multi-center clinical trial. She is concurrently working on the design of material hardship-targeted interventions for the clinical trial setting.
Dr. Bona holds an MD from the Yale University School of Medicine and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her pediatrics residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center, and subsequently completed her pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s. She completed post-doctoral research training through the Harvard-Wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship. Dr. Bona cares for children with Hematologic Malignancies at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. Her work has been funded by grants from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the National Palliative Care Research Center, the Pablove Foundation, ASCO, and the Family Reach Foundation. Dr. Bona’s work has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals, she has presented on her research in both local and national meetings, including serving as a speaker at the National Cancer Policy Forum and the American Cancer Society Workshop sponsored “Comprehensive Cancer Care for Children and Their Families.”
John Cook is one of the Children’s HealthWatch Co-Principal Investigators. His research interests include examining the effects of hunger, food security and energy security on children’s health and well-being and ways to increase access to affordable, healthy food. Research in progress is related to effects of food insecurity at its lowest levels of severity, including “marginal food security.” Topics of greatest concern at present are global climate disruption and diminishing fossil-fuel supplies, and their implications for low-income families’ economic viability, for food availability and affordability, and for public health.
Prior to joining Children’s HealthWatch, Dr. Cook was the Research Director at the Center on Hunger, Poverty and Nutrition Policy at Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.
Dr. Cook received his BA from the University of Alabama in Mathematics and Spanish, and his MAEd from Arizona State University in Educational Psychology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Planning for Developing Areas with concentrations in Demography and Population Studies and Economics.